Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, when asked by a college student whether employers ought to be allowed to fire workers because they are gay, said the government should not get involved in such decisions.
“I don’t know that we need to keep adding to different classifications that say the government needs to be involved in hiring and firing,” Paul told hundreds at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. “I think society’s rapidly changing, and that if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.”
Paul added that he believes the “vast majority” of private companies have policies against discrimination.
Federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Efforts to add protections for workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity have been unsuccessful.
Paul said he believed that adding protections for gay workers “sets up a whole industry for people who want to sue” and that it would be “almost impossible sometimes” to know whether a person was fired for his or her sexuality or another reason.
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